Events began on the Jeniviere, a merchant ship crewed by Captain Alizandru Kovack and First Mate Alton Devers, which plied a trade route between Oros, Thiliniop, Valond, and the bazaar at the mouth of the Kiuz river. Mad Max Power, orphan half-orc from the desert highlands southwest of the Orosi chaos jungle, had been aboard the ship since its last berth in Oros, seeking ramonite and wealth to assist him in building a sword to destroy the Demon who slew his tribe. Jolly Lama had boarded afterward at the port of the Kiuz, taking another step in his long journey to see and connect with the myriad wonders of the world.
The majority of the ship’s passengers boarded at Valond, including:
- The seemingly delusional tengu Chuko, who believed himself to be the incarnation of Pharasma, and sought further knowledge and perhaps followers from a rapidly growing sect of Pharasma in the slave states of Karabba.
- The furry Renard McCloud, a kitsune private investigator working in Valond who was going to Oros to find his gnomish client’s brother Chomsky, who was kidnapped by slave traders.
- Aerys Mavato
- The prisoner Jask Derindi
- Sasha Nevah
The ship then continued to the island of Thiliniop, where it stayed in port for four days exchanging goods and resupplying. On the night before its departure for Oros the ship gained its final passenger of note, Gelik Aberwhinge.
The ship departed for Oros, and five days into the journey, the group sat down to dinner when all went black for everyone.
The group was assisted in regaining consciousness by raging nausea and the curious nibbles of a number of eurypterids, scorpion-lobster hybrids which were attacking them where they had washed up on the beach of a small bay. The group’s weapons and some of their other belongings had been piled neatly on the beach. After dispensing the eurypterids, the group spotted the crashed ruins of the Jeniviere on the cliffs at the north part of the bay, and tended to the others who had washed up on the beach (Gelik, Jask, Aerys, Ishirou, and Sasha), none of whom had any better recollection than they about the preceding events.
The group spotted the tracks of someone dragging them up onto the safety of the beach and piling their possessions in a neat pile, and tracks running from their location to the wreck of the Jeniviere.
Due to good old-fashioned bullying of Aerys Mavato, in which they refused to return her book of poems, the Abendago Cantos, and the situation devolved to an exchange of blows, the group lost contact with Aerys as she ran alone into the jungle with her book.
Mad and Jolly both ventured to the wreck of the ship, which they discovered to have been reduced only to its stern, and suspended precariously on a ridge in a cliff over the churning sea. Both found the surf-slicked cliff too difficult to navigate and were sent tumbling back to the beach where they began. The bumbling continued as the group cobbled together a sad excuse for a shelter and cooked up the slain bodies of the eurypterids.
As they sat around the weak fire, the group attempted to mend some bonds with Gelik and Jask (still manacled) by offering them food, while they woke up Ishirou and discovered his puppy love for the now-absent Aerys. Renard used his fire breath extract to liven up the campfire and keep away the insects and vermin that were visibly encroaching on the camp, but it did not help enough to save him from acquiring mindfire over the night.
In the morning, Mad and Ishirou set off into the jungle to track Aerys while Chuko fixed up the camp, Sasha went out hunting, Gelik set up some makeshift healing supplies, Renard combed the beach for tracks and other clues, and Jolly successfully climbed aboard the wreckage of the Jeniviere, where he was ambushed by a larger eurypterid before shutting himself in the Captain’s cabin. Therein he acquired a ring of six keys, two sea charts, a small notebook, a masterwork dagger, a suit of leather armor, two potions of cure light wounds, a holy symbol of Nethys, and a spell component pouch before scrambling out of a whole rent in the side of the ship and swimming back to camp.
Ishirou and Mad quickly got lost in the jungle and were ambushed by a massive black mamba, which they dispatched without issue.
Back at camp, one of the keys wound up unlocking Jask’s manacles. Jolly gave him the armor, dagger, holy symbol, and the component pouch, all of which had apparently been his before his manaclement. Feeling comfortable with the group after their (rather uncharacteristic) kindness, Jask revealed that he believed the ship had wrecked on Lubber’s Last, an island northeast of Oros notorious for causing shipwrecks. He also revealed that a member of the smuggling ring he had been trying to expose, a Captain Kinkarian, had allegedly wrecked his ship, the Brine Demon, on Lubber’s Last.
Mad and Ishirou found their way back to the camp, where the group reviewed the recently-acquired captain’s log. The Log began as a normal trade ship log, with ports, weather events, bearings, and inventory. The last third of the log took the tone of a diary, with many obsessive, poorly-written love poems for the scholar Ieana. The logs took a paranoid turn as the captain begins to suspect other crew members, especially the first mate Alton, of competing for the attention of Ieana. The last page was in a sloppy, slanted hand and detailed Ieana’s convincing him to change course to sail along the northern edge of Lubber’s Last, where he hoped he could make a home and a life with Ieana.
Mad and Jolly again attempted to reach the Jeniviere. Jolly made it some of the way to the cliff but again slipped and was swept back into the bay. Mad then took a crack at the climb, making it two feet up the cliff before tumbling into the roiling waters below and being swept out to sea.
The group at camp worked on building a rope system to more easily make it onto the Jeniviere, but then decided to set out into the jungle with Jask and Ishirou to track down Aerys . Mad found himself washed up and waterlogged on an ancient, hollowed-out shipwreck, labelled on its side as the Tears of Grog, around a hundred feet north of the shore of the island. He attempted to swim to the shore of the island and was slammed onto the rocky beach, clambering ashore entirely unaware of his location.